There was a good deal of discussion in the media over “unfair” executive compensation, especially in light of the bonuses, golden parachutes, and other forms of remuneration received by CEOs during the bailout.
I have yet to hear much complaint about CEOs being underpaid, though.
But this might change as it becomes apparent that under-compensation of executives might well be a way to wriggle out of higher payroll tax liability. Consider the case of CPA David Watson, who “incurred the wrath of the IRS by only paying himself $24,000 a year and declaring the rest of his take profit.” The Slashdot piece makes the compelling conceptual connection between Watson’s case and that of “the much ballyhooed $1 Executive club like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt.”
The outcome of this? According to a WSJ overview of the Watson case, “Pay can vary—but it can’t be too low.”